Thursday, November 04, 2010

Nice Ride

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dropped into town this morning aboard a USAF C-32A (wiki). Not something you see around here very often....

The C-32A is a military VIP transport version of the civilian Boeing 757, and equipped with enough hi-tech and likely hush-hush communications gizmology to be able to securely talk to anyone they need to from anywhere in the world. There are 4 C-32A's according to wiki and they have been used in the 'Air Force One' role normally filled by its larger cousin the VC-25/B747 on occasion. There are certainly a lot more bumps and lumps hiding equipment visible on the airframe than our comparable RNZAF Boeing 757-200's.

The RNZAF operates two B757's in the long range transport and VIP roles. Here is one blasting off from a very wet Wellington a couple of years ago (with a very wet photographer too):

The 757 is regarded as something of a hot rod in the airliner world, with ample engine power for its needs (and said to be almost over-powered at times). At light weights (no passengers or cargo, no excess fuel on board) this makes for impressive performance, something the RNZAF ruthlessly exploits when they display the aircraft at airshows. As the highest performance aircraft in the service since the fighters were retired, the 757 display has become the stuff of legend at airshows here and overseas, and shows the sort of things normally sedate airliners are capable of in the right hands.

Like this for example. Our Boeings might not be as flash as the USAF's, but they arguably have more fun:

And this (one of my favourite 'FAKE!' commented videos, because having seen it a few times in the flesh I know it isn't):

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